News & Comment

Protest against town smoking ban proposal

Sat 16th July, 2011

Over one hundred people have attended a protest against plans to ban smoking in open places in a Buckinghamshire town.

The protest was in response a proposal by Councillor Paul Bartlett who wants to outlaw smoking in any public place in Stony Stratford. Protesters included local businessmen and residents of the town.

Among those who spoke against the ban was UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who said it could stop people coming to the town, affecting local businesses.

Some local publicans have said a total ban on smoking would have a huge impact on their trade and Mr Farage, who is an MEP for Buckinghamshire, echoed their views in a meeting at the Vaults Bar in the town.

He said: "We have already seen the horrific impact the smoking ban has had to the pub trade which has resulted in hundreds of pubs across the UK shutting down.

"If this new proposal in Stony goes through it will mean no more 'popping out for a smoke'.

"I have been listening to the concerns from the local business community and they believe that this will have a negative impact on the place.

"For local pubs it could well be the final nail in their coffin. For other businesses they feel people will simply stop coming to Stony."

Source: BBC News (16 July 2011)

Update: Town councillors were due to vote on the proposal on 19 July. However the vote was postponed after Cllr Bartlett withdrew his motion, arguing that "The people who are against making Stony Stratford a healthier environment for everybody have not got their arguments together properly, so I'm giving them an opportunity to do that". The motion has now been scheduled for September 20.

This still left two motions by Cllr Bartlett on the agenda. According to a local report, "Councillor Paul Bartlett's motions were later rejected by the Town Council. Nobody present was prepared to second either of the two motions that were on the agenda for the meeting. As a result, the proposals were discarded and did not need to be debated on further by the Town Council."

Source: About My Area (19, 20 July 2011)

See also: The Stony Standoff: Sanity 1, Bartlett 0 (Velvet Fist, Iron Glove, 16 July 2011)
An outbreak of people power in Stony Stratford (Dick Puddlecote, 17 July 2011)
The battle of Stony Stratford (The Free Society, 22 July 2011) 

Back to top